When Susan Bass moved into her new home, she knew it was everything she ever wanted. She had been looking around for a place which had a new kitchen, and enough space in the backyard to start to grow a garden. The first few weeks were exciting, she was able to spend her time unpacking what felt like hundreds of boxes, finding each of her belongings a place in her new home.
Susan loved the idea of living in Byron Bay. It was the sea-change she needed from the slightly more hectic life she was living in Coffs Harbour. For a long time, she had heard about how relaxing the lifestyle could be - living near the beach, the sunshine and not to mention the access to fresh organic produce locally.
But Susan's dreams of living in tranquility were shattered almost as soon as they had begun. She had only been in her new home two short weeks when she was awoken repeatedly to the sounds of roaring laughter, the clinking of glasses and what sounded like a brass band.
Yes - a band. But what on earth could be causing these noises in her quiet seaside street? She was scared, hoping it wasn't some sort of fight or riot on the beach. She turned off all the lights in the house and tried to see what was happening from the windows.
. . .
Another week had gone by, and Susan hadn't been woken up again by any strange noises. She was convinced it must have been a one-off party from a neighbouring house. Up the street, there was a hotel, but there hadn't been any trouble there before, so maybe it was just one raucous party.
On Saturday, Susan had driven to Ballina for the day to meet some friends for lunch. It was only the mid-afternoon when she was returning home, only to find she couldn't turn into her own street. Alarmed at first, Susan was concerned there might have been an accident.
When looking closer, she realised there were parked cars, on both sides of the street as far as the eye could see. As her own car crawled towards her house, she realised some of her neighbours even had cars partially parked across their driveways. There were even some minibusses which were so wide in diameter it was hard to think a car would even be able to pass.
That night was another sleepless one, so much noise was coming from the end of the street. With patience wearing thin Susan wrapped her dressing gown around her body and pulled on some shoes, she was going to find out who on earth was rude enough to keep the whole street awake for another night.
As she drew closer to the sound, her heart sank in her chest. Susan realised what was making all the noise, and it wasn't any of her neighbours. She saw the function centre of the hotel lit up with fairy lights. On the driveway were two parked vintage cars with two pieces of white ribbon running from the passenger windows to the bonnet. She realised she might have moved into her dream home, but that home was right near a big, loud wedding venue.
When Susan first spoke to NoiseNet, she was so disappointed she had moved somewhere for a lifestyle change only to find out it could be ruined by intrusive noise. She said if she could have used NoiseNet to get a Noise Rating on the property, she would have known what she was getting in to, and she would have probably made a very different choice.